Trophic transfer of essential elements in the clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris in the context of ocean acidification

Little information exists on the effects of ocean acidification (OA) on the digestive and post-digestive processes in marine fish. Here, we investigated OA impacts (Δ pH = 0.5) on the trophic transfer of select trace elements in the clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris using radiotracer techniques. Assimilation efficiencies of three essential elements (Co, Mn and Zn) as well as their other short-term and long-term kinetic parameters in juvenile clownfish were not affected by this experimental pH change. In complement, their stomach pH during digestion were not affected by the variation in seawater pH. Such observations suggest that OA impacts do not affect element assimilation in these fish. This apparent pCO2 tolerance may imply that clownfish have the ability to self-regulate pH shifts in their digestive tract, or that they can metabolically accommodate such shifts. Such results are important to accurately assess future OA impacts on diverse marine biota, as such impacts are highly species specific, complex, and may be modulated by species-specific metabolic processes.

Jacob H., Pouil S., Lecchini D., Oberhänsli F., Swarzenski P. & Metian M., 2017. Trophic transfer of essential elements in the clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris in the context of ocean acidification. PLoS ONE 12(4):e0174344. Article.

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